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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,874 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,874
Reviews: 1,058
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 330
Gots: 580 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beerguy101 on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,874 | Reviews: 1,058 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jacobseyb


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A=Golden slightly murky, 3 fingers of head

S=Sweet fruitiness, hints of orange,

T=Similar to smell, virtually no aftertaste

M=Nice carbonation some initial thickness, fluffy

D=Very drinkable, this may be come a favorite of mine, i really enjoyed it and the alcohol is not so prevalent to mask the other characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 03:08:38 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of JohnQVegas


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into chalice, batch 041.

Pours hazy gold, with a big, fluffy white head. Effervescent.

Nose is yeasty, a bit of pear and apricot, with a creamy sweetness underneath.

Flavor is front-loaded with a big yeast presence - tangy and a bit dry, banana comes through, with golden fruit notes coming out as well. Some candy sugar sweetness. Finish dries up a bit more, some more yeast, some alcohol esters as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, but with a bit of crispness, medium bodied. Really nice beer - one of those that gets better the farther into the bottle you get. Well rounded if not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 14:41:35 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of twelvsies


4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm, this beer is lovely. So soft and fluffy. Really nice balance of that Belgian sweetness and a nice, crisp golden ale. I think this beer is more of a borderline tripel, it has that nice body to it. A dry, herbal hop profile gives it that distinguishing uniqueness though. Still the pleasant sweetness is what dominates here. So much character, with out too many flavors in the way, really allows the Belgian yeast to do all the talking here. Sooo soft again on palate, so smooth. Supple.

Note: while this beer is listed at 7% on the website it says 7.75% right on the label...

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 17:30:24 | More by twelvsies
Photo of IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifter.

Clear golden color, some chill haze that clears up quickly, steady center bubble stream. Pure white head, 2 fingers thick that settles to a thin coat after a minute or two. Really good looking beer.

Slightly fruity aroma, some yeast, but mostly citrus, orange.

Smooth clean taste. Vanilla and pepper, some banana. Less sweet than I would have anticipated. And very dry, especially in the finish.

Very crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Easy to drink.

I think this beer is good, not great (except for its appearance). It's much more dry than I would have thought for a Belgian Strong Ale (maybe that's where the Pale part comes in). It's very smooth and easy to drink, but it doesn't have that pop I was hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 00:39:30 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got one from batch 42, brewed in July/Aug of last year, per their site.

Poured at around fiddy-five degrees into Duvel glass. Huge 4 finger white head, with relatively clear, golden yellow color, and plenty of visible carbonation.

Smell was quite nice, with sweetness of ripe bananas, and a little pear n' pepper.

Smell blended nicely into the taste, with more of the pepper coming thru than the sweet fruit. As it warmed, it took on somewhat of a smokey quality, too.

Relatively crisp bite up front, and pretty smooth mouthfeel rounding things out.

I found it to be quite high on the drinkability meter. Sign me up for another! ... even if it is a $14 bottle around here.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 21:26:42 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of SirChugsAlot


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another gem from russian river...

Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a wonderful white head which takes a while to fade and leaves some nice lacing around my chimay goblet

Smell is sweet, malty, fruity and a bit funky

Taste is of cloves and banana a mixture of spices and some funk

Mouth is smooth and the head gives it a nice frothy feeling. nicely carbonated

Drink is pretty high. If given the chance i might pick up another bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 18:32:20 | More by SirChugsAlot
Photo of Jerico

New York

4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a bottle into a Westvleteren goblet.

A - pours light and airy and slightly cloudy, a bit of a golden/peachy color. Head is about 2 fingers, nice and puffy.

S - smell is light, fruity (banana and spice) and sweet. This one is hard to resist!

T/M/D - yum! Tastes like it smells - light and slightly fruity, and candy sugar sweet but not overly so. A bit of a malty taste up front, and delicate hoppy bitterness in the back. Fantastic. I'd write more but this one is calling for my attention!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 01:02:36 | More by Jerico
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy honey color and a modest head that re-forms with a swirl and leaves nice swathes of lace

Smell: Banana and bubblegum, apple and pear, and a smidge of clove

Taste: Opens with banana and clove flavors, with the apple/pear underneath; white pepper arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the clove and pepper join with some lemony hops to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Mediun to full body with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and a spicy, hoppy example of the style; very nice

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 00:02:02 | More by brentk56
Photo of glid02


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of route66pubs - thanks!

Pours a hazy yellow-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head slowly dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pears, citrus fruits, and light spices. There are hints of Belgian candi sugar that waft out every now and then as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The spices carry a bit more weight, though they still take a backseat to the fruit flavors. A mild candi sugar sweetness carries on until the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness and solid carbonation that make it go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished off what I had fairly quickly and could drink a lot of these outside on a summer day.

Overall this is certainly a very good staple of RR. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 22:13:06 | More by glid02
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy peachy yellow with huge white bubbly head. Very sticky, leaving lots of lacing. Smell - sweet and fruity, yeasty, slightly hoppy. Very nice. Taste - a bit wheaty upfont, followed by fruity sweetness, very rich maltiness, finishes a bit dry and bitter. Extremely balanced beer, very drinkable for ABV, rich and creamy. Very smooth. Very enjoyable.
Great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 06:19:36 | More by Voonder
Photo of ThirdLap


4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with BA Macktbone and six others at an informal tasting at his place. Served in a Chimay goblet at about 55°F.

Damnation pours a murky slightly-dark yellow with a big off-white head. After receding, a chunky thin head remains, revealing lots of lacing. Some sediment noted.

The nose is citrus fruits, spices, bread, with a slight sour funk edge.

Taste is sweet... lighter fruits and vanilla, with a hint of spices. Nothing is too 'in-your-face', making for huge drinkability.

Carbonation is medium to high, with a velvety medium-bodied mouthfeel. The finish is clean and soft.

A solid example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 01:02:49 | More by ThirdLap
Photo of Risser09


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear golden yellow with a 1" tall ivory head. Bubbles flow to the surface from the bottom. There is great retention and spidery lace. The pillowy head just won't dissipate.

Smell: Light, funky, airy, pale malt, yeast and faint hops. Slight sour apple mixes with pale malt and a mineral aroma slides in as well.

Taste: Light and airy funk from brett makes it's way into the beer. A slight wheat flavor that is kind of sweet. Slightly boozy. A little bit of wood tannin from the oak aging.

Mouthfeel: Light, airy, a bit boozy and lots of frothy carbonation. An excellent beer in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very nice. you could drink quite a few of the 750s alone. Russian River almost never disappoints. Not even close to a clunker in the bunch. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 18:06:56 | More by Risser09
Photo of beertunes


3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After years of hearing about RRs beers, we've recently started seeing them in stores up here in the Fourth Corner. Let's see if they live up to their reputation, shall we? Poured into chalice. Poured a clear, bright golden-yellow. Poured with about an inch of bright white head that quickly settled into a thin solid layer that stuck around for the duration. A moderate amount of lacing. A fairly high level of carbonation (which is apparently an issue with some RR brews). A nicely subtle spice and fruit aroma. The typical spicyness of this style is quick on the tongue, with a slight clove note on the finish. The body is light and refreshing as usual for the style. Nicely drinkable. While not on on the level of Chimay White or Duvel, this is an acceptable version of this style which I will probably try again. Overall an average example of this style.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 22:05:35 | More by beertunes
Photo of JBogan


4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear pale gold which looks like any American Macro. However, it has a nice thick white crown which remains forever and leaves a good thick sheet of lacing.

The aroma is quite fruity with a bit of grassiness. Lemon plays a large part.

Taste is a very pleasant mix of citrus and banana and spices. Really well balanced and fresh. Very impressive.

Mouthfeel was about as good as it gets. Medium body with a perfect smoothness along with just the right amount of carbonation. Well done.

Never had this before, but I knew this beer was supposed to be good when I bought it. it didn't disappoint. I'm a big Belgian fan, but pretty much every American beer I've ever had which attempted to be a Belgian style was just a pale imitation. Not this one. I'll certainly revisit it again. An excellent brew from our friends out West.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 22:42:09 | More by JBogan
Photo of madtowndmb1


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brownish color with no head.

S: Not as much as I expected! Not alot of funk, more mellow than I wanted. Got alot herbs and lemon. Reminded me of a tea more than a wild ale.

T: Tasted like a little funky tea! There's a touch of a bit right away. The to a spice and lemon and fruit travel along the tongue.

M: Smooth and easy to drink. Not very thick at all.

D: I liked it but R.R. has better that you can get, but good!

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2009 21:11:22 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of Yetiman420


4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second in a three course dinner paring lineup of Devotion Damnation, and Lost & Found.

Poured into the straighter variety of wine glass. Wonderful light appearance with thin white head.

Paired well with a salad of earthy and sharp greens and cheese plate.

Noticeable Belgian aroma coming off the Devotion. Distinct Belgian spiciness, excellent and excellent mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 03:08:40 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of bbothen


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the pub. Summer 2008.

Pours a hazy straw yellow/golden with a fluffy 2 finger deep white head. Head has great retention throughout. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of peppery spice, yeast, clove, fruity, apple, pear. Nice.

Fruity complex taste of banana, pear, apple, spice, yeast, malt sweeteness, citrusy hop bitterness. Tasty & interesting.

Affervescent, medium bodied, tangy, clean.

Highly drinkable & something your non Beer Advocates friends may like.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2009 23:13:16 | More by bbothen
Photo of charlzm


3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 02/16/09.

Pours a slightly hazy urine yellow (sorry, but that's an apt color description). LOTS of suspended particulate matter in this beer. A fine, one-finger white head forms and turns to sticky lacing for the duration of the glass. Plenty of carbonation is visible.

Aroma is redolent of unfermented sugar, cloves and a powdery honeysuckle.

Flavor reflects the aroma with the addition of a white pepper bite and a lingering, strong bitterness. Strong anise flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is downright effervescent, almost champagne-like.

I shared the bottle with two friends and that seemed about the right amount of this hoppy California interpretation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 05:00:26 | More by charlzm
Photo of jsanto

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

s - on tap at a local in phila.

a - golden light yellow/orange. slight white head.

s - citrus and extra lemon.

t - nice mellow front citrus flavor,and not much of a finish.

m - slight carbonation that faded and changed as it sat.

d - would only have one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2009 21:02:16 | More by jsanto
Photo of mithrascruor


3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a just lightly hazy golden-orange color with slightly off-white film-like head that lasts a while.

Smell: Has a light fruity flavor of apples, pears, and bubble-gum. Not really too keen on that bubble-gum aroma...

Taste: Light (but not too light) flavor of hops and yeast. Very minimal hint of fruits. Has a bit of an earthy aftertaste, together with the yeasts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinks nicely without hints of alcohol. Enjoyable.

A nice beer, but it doesn't strike me with anything particular or fantastic. I'm glad that alcohol isn't present in the taste (like many American attempts at Belgian ales), but the balance between the fruity smell and yeasty taste doesn't really merge anywhere.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 05:21:28 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of Wetpaperbag


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice light amber beer color, great frothy tight head about one finger width or so.

S- Light fruits, clove, honey, and very over all tasty.

T- The taste is very delicious. Herbal, yet smooth and not very yeasty as it is in the bottle. This has a nice herbal taste, with the clove and honey. Very nicely put together.

M- Very easy to drink and very nice on the palate.

D- Easy to drink, very tasty and amazing on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2009 06:32:57 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of HatTrick


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Was a pretty amber with a head that reduced quickly but left a nice bit of lacing on the chalice.

S: Smelled of sweet cinnamon, apples, pears, and flowers.

T: Nice smooth taste of fruits, mild hops, apples, and like it smelled, pears, cinnamon, mild mild cloves, flowers.

M: Had very nice mouthfeel. Was really nice going down. Smooth and nice bodied, not too full or light.

D: Was really nice to drink. Easy going down. Delicious!

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2009 06:07:48 | More by HatTrick
Photo of Rayek


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy apple juice color with an orange tinged head. The soapy head has poor retention, but leaves spots of lace.

S: A nice balance of pepper, apples, coriander, lemon, orange and sourdough bread aromas was pleasing to my nose.

T: A spicy pepper and coriander bitterness is the most dominant aspect. The beer is fruity in the middle with orange, lemon and green grape flavors. Finishes tangy and tart with a flash of lemon.

M: Medium body is grainy and somewhat dry. Carbonation level feels about right.

D: Overall, this was a very nice beer. For some reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as my notes made it sound like I did. Perhaps I was just in a negative frame of mind. A solid offering nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 16:14:49 | More by Rayek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden color with a one finger head that lasts a bit. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: malt sweetness, yeast, grass, and a bit of floral bitterness are detectable.

Taste: nice malt base with some yeast, pepper, green grapes, grass, and a nice bitterness make up a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with a bit of dryness near the finish. Medium bodied. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. It is easy to have a few glasses of this in a session but alcohol will quietly sneak up on you.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2009 22:02:50 | More by Gavage
Photo of PhxHorn


3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I mail-ordered this one out of San Diego, and so maybe my hopes were disproportionally high. It pours a pale clear yellow with a nice fluffy head. Smells mildly of apples. The taste was a bit disappointing--a mild flavor of apples and pears, but on the weak side. Carbonation was a bit on the weak side--the mouthfeel was a bit watery. Drinkable and decent, but nothing special. I've still not had anything from RR that really impressed me.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 00:55:51 | More by PhxHorn
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,874 ratings.